A deliberate act may have downed a missing EgyptAir jetliner carrying 66 people but hopes for a breakthrough were dashed after Greek officials ruled out debris thought to be from the plane.
Bloomberg is reporting that the Airbus SE A320 plane might have been knocked out of the sky, citing Egyptian Minister of Aviation Sherif Fathy who said the possibility of a terrorist attack is higher than a technical failure.
French President Francois Hollande said the aircraft had crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
And the Egyptian foreign ministry said floating materials found near the Greek island of Karpathos may have come from the plane wreckage.
But Athanasios Binis, chairman of the Greek Air Accident and Investigation Safety Board, said the debris did not come from the aircraft, broadcaster ERT reported on its website.
“It is our duty to know everything about the causes,” Hollande said Thursday at a press conference.
“As soon as we know the truth, we’ll have to draw all conclusions, be it an accident or any other hypothesis,” including terrorism.
Investigators focused on the last minutes of the flight, which took off at 11:09 p.m. in Paris with 56 passengers, seven crew and three security personnel.
The aircraft, a modern single-aisle jet manufactured in 2003, was traveling at cruising altitude before disappearing from radar off the Egyptian coast.
The plane made sudden movements before swooping into a deep descent before air-traffic control lost contact, authorities said.
The pilots sent no emergency signal, and their final contact with controllers revealed no signs of distress.
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